Ending a relationship is never easy, whether you are the one that leaves or the one who is left. If you are one that’s leaving, you can make the ending easier by being conscious about how you go about it.
Many men and women create hurt and pain for themselves and their partner in the way they break up. Causing pain to an ex may feel satisfying in the moment, but such an ending will be something you both have to recover from in the future.
Wouldn’t it be better if your relationship left both of you better off because of being together? Wouldn’t it be even better if the ending of your relationship set you both up – set YOU up – for creating an even better relationship in the future?
Here are 5 important actions to take to make sure you end the relationship gently and both of you end up better off in the process:
1. Make sure that before you leave the relationship you give it your all.
You do not want to look back on a relationship and wonder if the two of you could have made it work if only you did things differently. If you can think of doing anything differently, go ahead and do it before you end the relationship. If you have not tried relationship help, such as coaching or therapy, this may be the time to do it. (I offer a Get Clarity Coaching Session where you can explore if there’s anything else you can do to save your relationship.)
2. Be your most honest, most communicative, most authentic self in the relationship.
To make a relationship work you need to not just be yourself, but your best version of self. You need to challenge yourself to be communicative, thoughtful, and authentic. If you are lagging on any of these, go ahead and play full out. Even if the relationship does not work, you will know you brought it all to the table and will have more peace about it ending.
3. Understand that often people can’t change for each other, even when there’s love.
Hurt in ending a relationship often comes from the idea that if your partner truly loved you he would change for you. This is simply not true. Many people can’t make personal changes, even when they stand to lose their relationship as result. Making personal changes is not as easy as it seems, because even small changes require shifts on multiple, deep levels. Give yourself and your partner peace by trusting that likely there’s love, even if the needed changes can’t be made.
4. Lay it all on the table, gently and briefly.
Before you call it quits, lay out what you need from your partner and what you are willing and not willing to do. Make it brief, easy to understand and gentle. Leave out accusations and criticism and stick to just the facts. Ask your partner of he or she can find a way to give you what you need, and not just for a little while, but permanently.
5. If none of this works, say goodbye gently.
If you do everything above and the two of you still can’t make the relationship work, here is how to say goodbye to leave both of you better off:
a. Make a list of all the wonderful qualities you experienced in your partner. Also, make a list of all the relationship experiences that you enjoyed with him or her. These lists are your jumping off points for your next relationship. You will be looking for a partner and relationship that can provide you all this and more.
b. Share the above lists with your partner in the process of saying goodbye. You don’t need to do this face to face if that feels uncomfortable. A letter or a phone call will do. The point is to let your almost ex-partner know that he or she was valued and appreciated, even though the relationship did not work out.
c. Finally, when you are ready, make a list of what was missing for you in the relationship, or what did not work. Your next partner should have most of the things you enjoyed in your last relationship, plus the things that were missing. This will give you a truly satisfying relationship.
I will leave you with two thoughts to ponder:
1. If you are about to end a relationship, are you certain you have done everything you can to possibly make it work?
To be certain, schedule a Get Clarity 30-minute coaching session and let’s run through the possible actions you can still take to try to save it.
2. Can you see yourself in a wonderful relationship where you are getting most everything you want or need?
My clients create these kinds of relationships while working with me as their coach. To try coaching for yourself schedule your Get Clarity 30-minute coaching session now and let’s start working on creating the relationship you want.